Everything is Replaced, the sophomore release from Fort Collins trio Nearby Liars begins with urgent, distorted power chords and ends with a soft, melancholy ballad that spreads itself out over a gravelly drone. In between, the record is alternately bone-crushing and tenderly mournful.
The band, formed in 2015, consists of vocalist/guitarist/chief songwriter Riley Sbrana, bassist Collin Ingram and drummer Julian Ferrara.
The influence of ‘90s alternative acts like Audioslave and Jane’s Addiction permeates Everything is Replaced. But, Sbrana foregoes the jaded, angsty growls of Cornell and Farrell in favor of a more polished vocal approach that carries a softer sort of earnestness. He tends to adopt a heavier style as the music builds, though. In some songs, he introduces a line softly in the first chorus, then punches the same line with a vengeance later.
The more substantial passages on the record are infectious, but the softer sections differentiate Nearby Liars from the pack. The album’s opening cut, “Mountaintop, or, the Speed with Which Everything is Replaced,” features a captivating breakdown that begins with deft fingerpicking from Sbatta. Ferrara comes in with rolling cymbals, then Ingram adds lilting bass fills that ring with a full-bodied tone more characteristic of jazz than of metal. In the space between those fills, the band veers toward heavier waters. Ultimately, the song crescendos back to the primary riff.
“Something Kind” contains another fascinating breakdown.
Nearby Liars’ ability to crest and fall as one allows Everything is Replaced to cover a spectrum of moods. The emotional journey is well worth taking.